Interview: Author ‘Kerri Maher’ Talks Her Debut Novel The Kennedy Debutante

credit to Peter Su

I live in Massachusetts just west of Boston but I’ll always identify myself as a California girl because my parents are native Californians and live there still, and I spent the formative years of sixth grade through college in the state. But the truth is, I’ve actually lived more of my life on the East Coast, which is still partly my parents’ fault for living the first eight years of my life in Dover, MA. I also lived for six years in Brooklyn, NY, where I ate really well, and cheaply, and shopped at awesome thrift shops (sigh; I still miss it sometimes). During those New York years, I also got my MFA at Columbia, and my first teaching gig as a grad student instructor in the Undergraduate Writing Program there. I taught writing for eight years, starting as a grad student, then as a lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ, before moving to MA and having a baby and changing my life yet again.

These days, I write full time and hang with my daughter Elena. Together, we love taking advantage of everything the Boston area has to offer–trips to the Museum of Fine Arts, apple picking, traipsing around the Boston Common, and soaking up the history in Concord and Sturbridge Village. I also love to cook and eat, so you’ll likely see a sprinkling of delicious dishes in my Instagram feed!

Check out her website here, Facebook, and Twitter. The book is in stores on Tuesday, October 2nd from Berkley Hardcover. You can listen to the interview below.

London, 1938. The effervescent “It girl” of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century’s most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire.

But their love is forbidden, as Kick’s devout Catholic family and Billy’s staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie–with family or with love.

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